Each season comes with different types of fresh foods that perfectly suit the different needs of your body. Seasonal foods are also healthy, economic and environmental friendly hence shopping your fruit and veggies is advantageous in many ways.
The benefits of buying seasonal foods are plenty. You can make a difference by buying locally produced seasonal foods. As you are also going to see later in this guide, there are other factors that you should consider to buy the right seasonal produce.
Benefits of buying seasonal foods
There are many benefits that you can obtain from buying seasonal foods, especially from your local fresh market. Some of the benefits include the following:
The main advantage of seasonal foods is that they taste better since they are harvested at the right time. For instant, if you leave a fruit like an orange to ripen naturally on the mother tree, it will taste better than a similar fruit that ripens under different conditions.
When transportation of the produce is involved, this means that the fruits and veggies need to be harvested earlier and refrigerated to prevent spoiling. The flavor is reduced during the chilling process of the produce. You can also get the right nutrients during the peak of seasonal produce. Spices and fresh herbs are also seasonal and they are nutritious if consumed during their right season.
Seasonal produce is cheaper
Seasonal foods are cheaper since there are no traveling and storage expenses involved. In the same vein, buying locally produced seasonal foods helps to support the local economy. Money spent on locally produced foods stimulates economic growth since it circulates within the area where the food is produced.
Higher nutritional value
Seasonal foods also have higher nutritional value since they are fresher because there is no transportation required. Nutrients like folate, Vitamin C and carotenes quickly decline when the fresh produce is stored for a longer period.
By the time the produce reaches your local grocery store, you will not enjoy the same freshness and nutritional value you get from vegetables and fruits that are produced on local farms. Vegetables and fruits have more nutrients if they are given the chance to naturally ripen on the mother plant.
Different types of seasonal produce are ideal for that specific time of the year when they ripen. For example, citrus fruits contain high Vitamin C and they are usually ready in winter. Citrus fruits help to prevent conditions like flu and colds which are prevalent in winter.
On the other hand, seasonal foods like winter vegetables are excellent for hot meals like soups, healthy stews as well as casseroles among other warming meals. Summer foods that include stone fruit also offer carotenoids as well as beta-carotenes that are helpful in protecting our bodies against damage from the sun. They also provide energy that is required during the hot summer season.
Therefore, it is undoubtedly true that fruits and vegetables that are tastiest and juiciest are in their right season. Likewise, nature supports seasonal foods that are good for our specific needs. After a long chilly winter, our bodies require detoxification and spring vegetables like spinach come in handy to fulfill that particular purpose.
Limited imported contamination
Fruits and vegetables that are sourced from other countries are produced under different conditions. The regulations for herbicides, pesticides as well as fungicides differ from country to country. Therefore, you may not be certain about contaminated pesticides that you will be exposed to when you buy imported foods.
These contaminated pesticides may not be good for your health and for this reason; it is wise to buy fresh farm produce that you can obtain from your local market. When you get your seasonal produce from the local farmers, you can ask them how they grow the food.
Seasonal foods are eco-friendly
Eating seasonally promotes farming in your area through the reduction of demand for farm produce that is out of season. This means that there will be reduced carbon footprint due to less transportation and refrigeration which all contribute to the emission of greenhouse gasses.
Food that is sourced from other countries contributes to environmental issues due to the transportation involved. This might be concealed to many consumers but the truth is that food that is locally produced is by far eco-friendly since there is no transportation required.
How to choose seasonal foods?
There are different types of seasonal foods and it is not surprising that other types of fruits and veggies are available all year round. However, the main issue with foods that are available all year round is that they often lack original taste. Such food if grown under different conditions which make it slightly different from food that ripens naturally during its season.
Therefore, you should have an idea about the exact season when a specific type of food grows. Different types of fruits are juiciest when they are in their season so you must be familiar with the taste of different fresh produce. You must also be aware of the natural state of that particular product to be able to determine if it is in the right season.
If you want to get the best seasonal produce, you should check if it is grown locally. It is very easy to establish if the food is seasonal when it is produced locally because you can tell from your surrounding environment. Locally produced fruits and veggies are organic and you can simply ask the farmers about the authenticity of the produce.
There are many benefits that can be obtained from buying seasonal foods. As noted, seasonal foods are fresher, tastier and more nutritious than foods that are sourced out of season. Fresh farm produce is tastier shortly after the harvest period.
Seasonal foods are also economic and they are eco-friendly, especially if they are locally produced. No transportation is required since it contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases that impact the environment. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and you can leave your comments or questions below.